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Inspiring Conversations with Stacy Stevens of Savvy Sweets

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stacy Stevens.

Hi Stacy, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
From a very young age, I was always in the kitchen with either my mother or grandmother watching them prepare meals. I was so intrigued by the processes, seasonings, and beautiful aromas.

At the time, I had no idea it was my passion & purpose. I can recall in the 4th grade our assignment was to write what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wrote that I wanted to be a chef and run my own restaurant. Time goes by, I grow up, and this once very vivid dream seemed unobtainable; almost forgotten even.

In December 2014, while working in the medical field, I was traveling to a meeting and drove by The Chef Academy in Morrisville North Carolina. I instantly felt a sense of urgency to check this place out. I couldn’t wait to google this to learn more. When I realized it was a school, I rushed at the opportunity to schedule a tour. Within thirty minutes of filling out the form, a representative called me back.

I toured, enrolled, and was ready for classes by January 2015. The program was perfect for my life at the time and literally down the street from my current job. It was an opportunity, I couldn’t pass up. It felt ordained. It literally fell in my lap and that once-forgotten passion was reignited. I completed the Culinary Program and received my Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in 2017 graduating Valedictorian of my class.

My first job was as a line cook at the Doubletree Hotel; I worked there until I moved to Elon University working for Aramark in the foodservice and dining hall industry. At Lakeside Dining Hall, I was able to work in the pastry kitchen honing my skills as a pastry chef. In the 3 years I worked there, I was able to become a leader and then supervisor of the team.

From there, I resigned and start working at The Mark hotel (on-campus) as the Pastry Chef. While I loved working at the university, I still didn’t feel complete. I felt my true passion and purpose weren’t shining through. Right after the pandemic hit and after subsequently being laid off for some time, I decided to take a leap of faith and step out on my own.

In August of 2020, Savvy Sweet, Inc. was born, and I never looked back.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
From the start, this culinary journey hasn’t been the easiest. I enrolled in The Chef’s Academy at the age of 36. I was a single mother of one beautiful daughter, worked 40 hours a week by day and a full course load by night. There were a couple of reasons why I know I made the right decision to go back to school. The first one was to prove to myself that it was not too late to follow my dreams.

Secondly, it was very necessary to show my daughter that it doesn’t matter how old you are or where you are in your life, you can achieve anything you put your heart, mind, and soul to! It really hurt that I missed so many moments with my daughter that I will never get back. That was hard to live through. To be honest, while I was going through it, it didn’t seem like a lot, however now as I look back it was a bit much.

While I wasn’t able to be there for all those moments, I am forever grateful to my family & village of incredible loved ones for all the support they gave me and my daughter. An even bigger shoutout to my mother for EVERYTHING she provided for her in my absence. Words will never be able to express my full gratitude for all that she did (and is still doing) for me through this journey!

Once school was over, I thought it would get easier. Meaning I would have more time with my daughter and be able to attend more family functions. Boy was I wrong. I felt like I had even less time. Long hours and back-breaking work were my new normal. Weeks turned into months so quickly. If you aren’t careful, this industry can break you down fast and in a hurry. I had to find balance.

These long days and nights weren’t what I needed. Starting at 36 was daunting and a little intimidating working with younger colleagues. I reminded myself constantly that I earned the right to be in the industry and my age only played a part if I let it. “Adapt and Overcome” is a mantra that stuck with me from school. It is that mantra that continues to push me forward.

I struggled to really find my place in the industry working for others. I began to realize that I really wanted to work for myself. It wasn’t that I didn’t fit in the industry; it was just not my purpose and passion to work for others. Continuing to work for others was driving their purpose for their passion. I wanted that for myself. And in order to do that, I would need to be on my own.

I have always had the drive to be an entrepreneur, I just struggled with how I was supposed to go about doing it. I felt like I needed this large amount of money to start so I kept telling myself, “I’ll just keep saving until I can leave my job”. That seemed to never happen. I was sticking around for the next raise, continuing to work long hours, get as much overtime as possible, and yet still never be at the end goal.

And in the process, it was not healthy. Lack of water and proper diet derailed the process with a kidney infection that almost took my life. I finally had enough of the vicious cycle: I had to change the narrative. This was not the way I wanted my legacy to be written.

Trying to do better with my diet and water intake I pressed on until the urge to take a leap of faith settled in. I know it sounds crazy, but the pandemic really helped catapult me into the decision of starting my own business. I was so scared, but I decided it was either now or never.

The initial start of it was hard. Creating my brand, gaining customers, and to be engaging on social media was a lot to achieve, however, I believe I have finally found my place in this industry as an entrepreneur!! And I feel these struggles have helped me create a business that fulfills my purpose for my passion. I think if I actually thought about how much work I put on myself, I might have quit! I am so very glad I didn’t.

Owning my own business proved to be tough but well worth it. I am learning to stay positive in all circumstances. I have also learned to do business my way and not let the ways of the world dictate how I want to brand and sell my products and services. My mother has always taught me to be an individual and that’s exactly what I do.

Being part of the norm is not as fun as creating a space to be uniquely you. My brand, purpose, and passion all align to create a service that uniquely sets me apart from the rest. I am happy to be approaching the completion of my second year in business and look forward to many more years to come.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
We are a unique Dessert Shop that offers a variety of traditional treats. Some of our fan favorites are our famous cheesecake, our decadent Fudge Brownies, and Chocolate Chip Cookies!

We are also savvy in the savory department, offering a variety of culinary options like meal prep, private chef services, and catering. We pride ourselves on giving each client a “Private Chef Experience” that they won’t forget! Plus, this allows for the client to have a uniquely different experience each time they choose Savvy Sweets, Inc.

For their special occasion. The Private Chef Experience can be whatever suits your pastry or culinary needs. We want you to have an experience like no other dessert shop can offer!

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
My childhood dream was to own a restaurant however the end game has changed. We love serving our community and would love to serve communities near and far.

We are working towards a food truck so be sure to follow us on all social media platforms to stay in the loop for all our future endeavors, events, and sales.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
A M Photography by Amanda Rose

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